Study S1 English English - Editing - Geniebook

Editing

In this article, we will be learning about editing. You must know 5 things to enhance or improve your editing skills. These 5 things include noun agreement, subject verb agreement, tenses, relative pronouns and subordinating conjunctions. So, let’s get started.

 

Noun Agreement

Noun agreement errors occur when the noun appears plural when it is supposed to be singular and vice versa.

(i.e. wrong noun form) 

  1. Add -s to singular nouns (e.g., boat-boats, house-houses).
  2. Add -es to singular nouns ending in s, x, z, ch, and sh (e.g., bus-buses, box-boxes, batch-batches, wish-wishes).
  3. Add -ies to singular nouns ending in y (e.g., penny-pennies, baby-babies).

Note: Noun agreement errors do NOT apply to pronoun errors (it, they, we, their, etc)

 

Examples:

  1. The internet is a useful tool to acquire many kinds of informations. 

Identify the incorrect word.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “informations” as information is uncountable. The correct word to be used is “information”.


 

  1. The flexible schedule allows persons with disability to participate in the gig economy.

Identify the incorrect word.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “disability”. If there is no “a”, “the” or “an” before a noun then the noun always takes the plural form, which in this case is “disabilities”.


 

  1. Polydactyl cats are unique in that they can have up to seven toes on each feet.

Identify the incorrect word.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “feet”. After the word “each”, whatever follows must always be singular. “feet” is plural and the singular form of “feet” is “foot”. So, the correct word to be used is “foot”.

 

  1. The following is NOT a noun agreement error:

The sounds coming from the attic were loud and menacing. It made Lorraine shiver in fear.

Answer:

Sounds are plural in nature and thus using “it” for noun “sounds” is incorrect. The correct word to be used here is “they” and this is a pronoun error.


 

Subject Verb Agreement (SVA)

Subject-Verb Agreement means that a subject and its verb must be both singular or both plural.

  1. A singular subject takes a singular verb.
  2. A plural subject takes a plural verb.
  3. Look out for the word “of”. The noun preceding the word “of” is usually the subject.
  4. Use a singular verb when a singular or uncountable noun or a singular pronoun is the subject. Use a plural verb otherwise.
  5. The subject of the verb may be some distance from it.

 

SVA errors occur when the wrong verb singularity/ plurality is used. (verb +/- s)

 

Examples:

  1. Each member of the board have at least ten years of experience working in nonprofit organisations.

Identify the mistake.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “have”. The subject here is “member”. As we are talking about each member of the board, the verb used should be singular instead of plural. So, the correct verb to be used is “has”.

 

  1. The most challenging thing for inexperienced violinists are to listen to the rest of the ensemble.

Identify the mistake.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “are”. The subject here is “thing”. As we are talking about the most challenging thing, the verb used should be singular instead of plural. So, the correct verb to be used is “is”.

 

 

Tenses

Only two tenses are tested in Editing: the Simple Present Tense and the Simple Past Tense. 

  1. Identify the general tense at the start and end of the editing excerpt.
  2. Look out for the words that change the general tense. (e.g. now, today, etc.)
  3. Switch tenses around dialogue tags.
  4. General truths are always in present tense.

 

Examples:

  1. Kelvin screams in pain after he realised that he fractured his knee that day.

Identify the mistake.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “screams”. As “realised” and “fractured” are in the past tense, the correct word to be used here is “screamed”.

 

  1. Do you sleep early last night?

Identify the mistake.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “Do”. As the sentence is stating about last night (an event in the past), the correct word to be used is “Did”.

 

  1. Timmy Depp is considered the world’s best actor. He loves it when his audience applauded after every show

Identify the mistake.

Answer:

The incorrect word in this sentence is “applauded”. As “is” and “loves” are in the present tense, the correct word to be used here is “applauds”.


 

Relative Pronouns

  1. Use ‘that’ or ‘which’ to introduce further information about a thing, animal or place.
  • I have watched the movie which you recommended to me
  • You will find the book that you asked for over there
  1. You use ‘who’ to introduce further information about a person.
  • Henry helped the old man who fell down at the traffic light

 

 

Subordinating Conjunctions

  1. Time and sequence, Reason, Comparisons.
  • Time and sequence: when, while, as soon as, before, after, since, until
  • Reason: because, since, in case
  • Comparisons: than



 

Practice Questions

 

Question 1:

These objects have so much mass – and therefore gravity – that nothing can escape them, not even light. That makes them some of the most extreme objects in the universe.

What error does the sentence in bold contain?

 

  1. noun agreement
  2. subject-verb agreement
  3. tense
  4. none of the above

 

Answer:

(A) - noun agreement

Explanation: 

The correct answer to this question is option (A) - “noun agreement”. “Some” indicates that the objects in question are plural in nature. “Object” is incorrect here in the sentence and should be replaced with “objects”.


 

Question 2:

Most black holes form after a giant star, one at least 10 times as massive as our sun, run out of fuel and collapses. 

What error does the sentence in bold contain?

 

  1. noun agreement
  2. subject-verb agreement
  3. tense
  4. none of the above

 

Answer:

(B) - subject verb agreement

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (B) - “subject verb agreement”. As the subject here (a giant star) is singular in nature, the verb will also be singular. “Run” is incorrect here in the sentence and should be replaced with “runs” - the singular form of the verb “run”.


 

Question 3:

Hawker fare, in particular, represents Singapore’s multiracial and cosmopolitan population, and has a relatively long history. 

Identify the error type, and incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. Fares
  2. Represents
  3. Or
  4. Had

 

Answer:

(B) - represents

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (B) - “represents”. The word “represent” is incorrect here as Hawker Fare is an uncountable noun and as we have learnt, we should use a singular verb with an uncountable noun. This is a subject verb agreement error.


 

Question 4:

It is a source of affordable food, who many rely on, and hawker centers are inclusive spaces shared by people of all backgrounds.

Identify the error type, incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. Was
  2. Which
  3. Although
  4. With

 

Answer:

(B) - which

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (B) - “which”. You should not use “who” because “it” is not a person and refers to hawker fare. Hawker fare is non-human and for non-human we use “which” or “that”. This is a relative pronoun error.

 

 

Question 5:

As they are a type of cultural heritage, hawkers cannot and should not be trapped in the past.

Identify the error type, incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. While
  2. The
  3. Shall
  4. On

 

Answer:

(A) - while

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (A) - “while”. Cultural heritage means that it is from the past or tradition or something we have been doing as a tradition for decades or hundreds of years. The second part of the sentence states that the hawkers cannot be trapped in the past whereas cultural heritage is about the past. So, you should use a conjunction that shows hawkers can be both cultural heritage and keep up with what is happening today. So, the incorrect word here is “as” and should be replaced with “while”. This is a subordinating conjunction error.


 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.


 

Question 1:

This is known as a stellar-mass black hole. It is now much smaller than the star that make it, but this black hole still has the same mass and gravity. 

What error does the sentence in italic contain?

 

  1. noun agreement
  2. subject-verb agreement
  3. tense
  4. none of the above

 

(Hint: stars ‘die’ before they become black holes)

 

 

Question 2:

Our galaxies, the Milky Way, may have some 100 million of such black holes. Astronomers estimate a new one forms every second. 

What error does the sentence in italic contain?

 

  1. noun agreement
  2. subject-verb agreement
  3. tense
  4. none of the above


 

Question 3:

These object have so much mass – and therefore gravity – that nothing can escape them, not even light. That makes them some of the most extreme objects in the universe. 

What error does the sentence in italic contain?

 

  1. noun agreement
  2. subject-verb agreement
  3. tense
  4. none of the above


 

Question 4:

Modern hawkers must be allowed to keep up with the times, including raising prices in line with costs, which seem to be a move resisted by patrons.

Identify the type of error, incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. Kept
  2. Raised
  3. Seems
  4. Resisting


 

Question 5:

Young practitioners should be free to experiment and specialise in familiar dishes. 

Identify the incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. No error
  2. Practitioner
  3. Or
  4. Specialisation


 

Question 6:

Such improvements should be accepted if hawker is to remain commercially viable.

Identify the type of error, incorrect word and choose the correct word.

 

  1. Improvement
  2. Hawking
  3. Were
  4. Remaining
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